UGA Hosts Peabody Award-Winning Documentarian for Free Screening

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Documentarian George King will discuss his 20-year journey documenting the life of contemporary folk artist and musician Lonnie Holley, during a free screening hosted by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection.

The event, held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 at Cine (234 West Hancock Avenue), is free and open to the general public as well as UGA students, faculty and staff.

I am thrilled that Brown Media is able to sponsor this screening, which, like Lonnie Holley himself, has something for every Athenian — visual arts, music, independent spirit, caring for the earth, Black cultural expression, Southern history. It’s all here, miraculously pulled together by filmmaker George King,” said Mary Miller, Peabody Awards archivist with Brown Media, who will lead a discussion with King and other special guests.

The event features a screening of the new film “Thumbs Up for Mother Universe: Stories from the Life of Lonnie Holley,” which follows the life and work of the Alabama-born artist, who was born one of 27 children before being stolen away from his home and growing up in poverty. The film explores Holley’s creative process, making sculptures out of objects many would throw away. His artwork, which draws inspiration from conservation, ecology and the environment and is rooted in southern life and African American history and culture, sits in the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while his music has garnered international critical acclaim for its stirring soulful depth.

The filmmaker, King, has consistently won national and international awards, including a 1997 Peabody Award for the radio documentary “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” His work addresses diverse subjects including race, civil rights, art & culture, the environment, labor, education, poverty, housing, and community development.

The Brown Media Archives, one of three special collections units of the University of Georgia Libraries, preserves one of the largest collections of publicly accessible media in the nation, including the prestigious Peabody Awards Collection.

For more information about the event, contact Miller at or 706-542-4789.